Former Opposition Leader Andrew Fahie is requesting for Premier Dr D Orlando Smith not to use the new voting technology (the DS 200 Precinct Scanner and Tabulator machines) that are to be used in the 2019 General Elections.
Fahie claims his request is coming from voters who he said are not comfortable with the technology.
“They felt that it needed some more testing. There is a lot of anxiety about it,” Fahie told the House of Assembly on Friday. “Nine out of 10 [persons] — and this is not an exaggerated number — have said: ‘ask the premier to put down that machine’.”
Fahie, who said he supported the machines when the idea was first introduced, claims he has “tried to explain” the merits of the machine to detractors. However, their sentiments remain the same, he said
“The seniors saying they are concerned — some even tell me they ain’t going to the polls because they can’t get this machine handled.”
Not for 2019, let’s wait till another election
Fahie further noted that he is not questioning the integrity of anyone who seeks to use or implement the new voting technology. He said he is simply submitting to the requests of the voting public.
To that end, Fahie asked the premier on Friday to shelve the machines till another election.
“There is a lot of concerns from the people — a lot of hysteria … Put it (the machines) down,” Fahie urged. “Although you [already] went and you got the money, test it out two years into the term of whoever the next government is, vigorously.”
Government, in the meantime, is purchasing these voting machines from a United States-based company, Election Systems & Software, at a cost of $309,318.63.
No indication has been given in relation to how many machines will or have been purchased.
The machines have already been tested during mock elections several weeks ago but, according to Fahie, voters are still not convinced.
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